George Phelps Spencer, Jr. 78

George Phelps Spencer
George Phelps Spencer

George Phelps Spencer, Jr., former Bronxville and Baldwinsville, NY resident, died suddenly on July 25, 2011 at his home in Fulton, NY. He was 78.

Mr. Spencer was born April 12, 1933 in New York City to Margaret (Barber Burnet) Spencer and George Spencer. His parents gave him the nickname of Doc after his grandfather, Dr. James Spencer, a prominent physician in Watertown, NY. George “Doc” was preceded in death by both his parents, a sister, the late Margaret (Jaime) Lougee, of Bronxville, NY and half brother, the late DeWitt Burnet Burlingame of Cazenovia, NY.

George (Doc) attended Bronxville School, Millbrook Prep Academy in Millbrook, NY and Yale University. He served during the Korean War as a sergeant and afterwards went to lumber inspection school in Memphis, Tennessee where he met and married the former Bettye Ann Acree and lived in California and later Baldwinsville, NY. They had four children, sons John, Henry, and Andrew Spencer, daughter Anne Thompson, and son-in-law, Hub Thompson. He is also survived by a grandson, Jonathan, a niece, Jennifer and nephew, Wren Landon.

Doc realized his childhood dream of being a logger and had his own successful business as the top logger in upstate New York. He was inspired by his brother, DeWitt, a lumber broker from Cazenovia. Doc also had spent his childhood summers at the Spencer family camp in Inlet in the Adirondack Mts and enjoyed nature, hiking, camping, and boating. He developed a great appreciation for the woods and nature. He also worked with Frances Gantley of Fulton, NY in logging and they remained friends until his death.

His interests included drawing, painting, reading and chatting about current events or politics over a good cup of coffee. He was a fine artist and many of his paintings have been on display at the Fulton Art shows. He created hand drawn greeting cards for people on special occasions. George also enjoyed spending time with his family and friends, including Lisa and Bill Urbach and their two children, Josh and Megan. He enjoyed mowing neighbor’s lawns in the summer and snow blowing their driveways in the winter. He was an active volunteer at the Salvation Army in past years.

His family has had a prominent history in the Syracuse area; his grandfather, Moses DeWitt Burnet founded the Burnet Zoo after his father, John Barber Burnet gifted a large tract of land to the city of Syracuse in order to build Burnet Park and George’s mother, Margaret, was born in the family home that is now called the Century House on James Street. His father was general manager of Solvay Processing plant in both Syracuse and New York City. George’s great-grandfather was the governor of Pennsylvania during the civil war, Andrew Gregg Curtin, who founded the Gettysburg National Cemetery and was named Pennsylvania’s war governor.

Memorial Services are 2 P.M., Friday, September 30 at Foster Funeral Home, 910 Fay Street, Fulton. A Calling hour will be held on Friday from 1 to 2 P.M. prior to the service. Contributions in memory of Mr. Spencer may be made to The Salvation Army, 62 South First St., Fulton, NY 13069.

Foster Funeral Home, Inc.